You will probably explore the famous temples, historical sites, and major tourist spots on a cultural sightseeing tour if it is your first time in Hanoi. That’s great, but if you want to know the capital of Vietnam inside out, you could go deeper and explore its emerging counterculture scene.
If you are ready to go beyond the vintage alleys and French boulevards, here is a guide to the hidden gems of Hanoi, from hip spaces to hipster activities.
Get Friendly With Some Reptiles at Pet Café Hanoi
Số 2 Ngõ 28 Ông Ích Khiêm Hanoi, Vietnam 118703
Enjoy your cup of coffee in a room filled with salamanders, snakes, chameleons, lizards, porcupines, and a squirrel. This is a regular scene that takes place at Pet Café.
View Art at Manzi Hanoi
14 Phan Huy Ích Hanoi, Vietnam 100000
Manzi Hanoi is an artistic haven that serves Vietnamese coffee, pineapple and mint juice, and fresh fruit with yogurt. You can also participate in different cultural events, such as short film nights, photography exhibitions, live poetry, and discussions of social issues.
Unwind at the TRE Boutique Massage
44 Đường Tây Hồ, Quảng An, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội, Vietnam
If you need to take a break from crowded places with restless movements, you can slow down a bit and enjoy some relaxing massages at TRE Boutique Massage. You can book a Shiatsu massage or an Ashiatsu massage.
Embark on a Vintage Photography Journey
For a different angled shot, you can have the chance to produce vintage photographs featuring the various attractions, corners, and scenes in Old Quarter. Guided by professional photographers, you will get to apply film photography techniques while learning about the culture of Hanoi. Your street photography shooting will take place at the Hang Be Market, St. Joseph’s Cathedral, and Hoan Kiem Lake.
Gorge on Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine
You will discover handmade snacks and local street food during your Hanoi Old Quarter Food Tour. See their fruit stalls and seafood stands. Try a Vietnamese sandwich with fresh vegetables and pork wrapped in a baguette, grilled skewers, and a bowl of pho.
Hop on a Vintage Soviet Jeep
Oldie but a goodie, a vintage Soviet jeep can take you to traditional villages and farms along the Red River Delta. See vegetables and bananas in the farming areas. The Red River delta is 120 kilometers long and 140 kilometers wide.
Discover Local Handicrafts
Visit the Bat Trang Pottery Village and watch villagers make pots, pans, and saucers. Meanwhile, you can have a feel of textiles and purchase clothes at Van Phuc Silk Village.
Chill out at Hanoi Social Club
6 Ngõ Hội Vũ, Hàng Bông, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Head to the ultimate cosmopolitan cafe and an artist hub, Hanoi Social Club. Their popular dishes include potato fritters with chorizo for breakfast, burger, and pasta. Meanwhile, vegetarians can enjoy mango curry. For those who want to unwind after a day of traveling, you can order coffee or wine.
Get A Haircut On The Street
High chairs. Mirrors. Scissors. You’re all set to avail of the haircutting service of barbers in the village of Kim Lien. Street barbering is believed to have begun in the 18th century. Depending on who is giving you a haircut, the price of a haircut ranges between 1 to 4USD.
Go Kayaking in Halong Bay
Feel the breeze on the beautiful islets called “The Turtle” and “The Fighting Cock Islet.” Go kayaking or swimming and see the area’s grottoes and greenery.
Ride A Minsk Motorbike
Why not discover all the corners of the Old Quarter while riding a Minsk Motorbike? Enjoy viewing the colonial architecture, pagodas, and temples. Visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Ha Noi Old Quarter, Long Bien Bridge, Hoan Kiem Lake, Temple of Literature, and more.
Or Ride Hanoi’s Hop On Hop Off City Tour Bus
Want the vintage vibe when touring Hanoi? Book a Hop-On Hop-Off City Bus Tour that comes with a multi-language audio guide. It’s a fun and convenient way to see the best sights in Hanoi, including the National Museum of Vietnamese History, Museum of Vietnamese Women, Temple of Literature, and Vietnam Fine Art Museum.